Interest Groups

2248 Words Apr 20th, 2013 9 Pages
WEEK 8 ASSIGNMENT Interest Groups Professor Karina Arzumanova U.S. Goverment

An Interests Group is defined as an organization of people or a letterhead organization, sharing a common interest or goal that seeks to influence the making of public policy. In the American political system, there are a wide variety of interest groups that are organized for the sole purpose of exerting influence on the political and legal systems. These groups play a central role in deciding who gets what, when, where and how in legislative and budget processes. They also play a significant role in deciding which values will be promoted and enforced by the government. When individuals have common interests, it often makes sense for them to
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Such groups include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Landmark Legal Foundation. Some of these groups are narrowly focussed on a single issue, such as abortion--with the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) on one side and the National Right to Life Committee on the other--or gun control--with the National Rifle Association (NRA) on one side and groups like Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence on the other. Public Interest Groups Some groups exist for the express purpose of pursuing public interests that would not otherwise be pursued. Examples of such groups include Common Cause, which seeks campaign finance reform, and Public Citizen, a broad consumer advocacy group. Labor Unions Unions are generally formed to provide laborers with the power of collective bargaining against the strength of businesses and corporations. Unions also tend to be heavily involved in the political process. Prominent, politically active labor unions include the AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
At the time the Constitution was ratified in 1789, parties and interest groups did not exist in the United States in a form that we would recognize today (Hofstadter 1969). Americans were aware of parties and other factional groupings from

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